Matt Gaetz considering retirement from Congress for Newsmax job

Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida was considering an early retirement from Congress for a job at the conservative-leaning network Newsmax, Axios reported.

The Republican, 38, told confidantes in private that he may not run for re-election and instead leave before his term ends to join the network, three sources told the publication about the conversation.

Since joining the US House of Representatives in 2016, Mr Gaetz has become a provocative figure for conservatives and a staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump. He often appeared on the campaign trail for Mr Trump and interacted with other members of the Trump family.

His term would be up in 2022, but Mr Gaetz was reportedly considering leaving the position earlier to instead become a media personality with Newsmax.

The conservative-leaning network has grown in popularity among Republicans and Trump supporters following the 2020 presidential election.

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Fox News, which used to be Mr Trump’s network of choice, faced backlash from conservatives after it called Arizona for President Joe Biden ahead of most other networks.

Networks like Newsmax and One America News Network (OANN) seized on the backlash facing Fox News to then draw conservative viewers to their respective networks.

Mr Gaetz’s career in politics started by serving in the Florida House after he graduated from the College of William and Mary law school. He then ran for US representative and was elected to Congress in 2016.

Republicans currently were the minority party in the US House, and they were eyeing the possibility of picking up seats during the 2022 midterm election to take control. But Mr Gaetz could be focusing instead on gaining national notoriety as a media personality instead of as a lawmaker.

His district, Florida’s 1st congressional district, was the most Republican district in the state, according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index, so Mr Gaetz leaving his seat would not likely impact the GOP’s chances of taking control of the House of Representatives.

The Independent has contacted Mr Gaetz for a comment.

This potential move from the representative comes as several members of Mr Trump’s administration and campaign team have transitioned into media roles after leaving the White House.

Kayleigh McEnany, Mr Trump’s former press secretary, was announced as a co-host of Fox News panel Outnumbered on Tuesday after previously agreeing to a contributor role with the network. Daughter-in-law Lara Trump was also announced as a Fox News contributor on Monday.

Mr Trump, in comparison, was focusing on pursuing a potential presidential run in 2024.

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